Negotiating in Life , Negotiating Tips , Business Negotiation March 23, 2011

What not to say during a negotiation

If you have attended a Karrass Effective Negotiation seminar you have learned exactly what to say and do during a business negotiation. You may have even learned what to avoid doing or saying...

If you have attended a Karrass Effective Negotiation seminar you have learned exactly what to say and do during a business negotiation. You may have even learned what to avoid doing or saying. It is important to review, however, because what you say has tremendous impact on the outcome of the negotiation.

According to the article “5 Things That Should Never Be Said During a Negotiation” on the Business Insider website, here are words and expressions to avoid unless you want the negotiation to go south. These five things are:

  1. Saying “between.” The word between is used when giving a range, and the other party is going to automatically gravitate to the lower end of the range. The article says that by saying “between” you are making a concession.

  2. Saying you are close to a deal. Perhaps you are tired of negotiating and you want to be done, but by indicating this to the other party you are giving up some of your power.

  3. Throwing out a number. The first person to give a number is usually not going to gain the upper hand in the negotiation.

  4. Claiming you have the final say. Unless you want to be forced to make a decision on the spot, you should never say you are the ultimate decision-maker. The ultimate decision-maker should never be at the negotiation since by checking with him or her, you are buying time.

  5. Insulting the other party. Never, ever resort to insults and obscenities. It is tantamount to bullying. No one wants to be seen as someone who flies off the handle, because it will damage your professionalism and any hope for a long-term relationship.


Remember to choose your words carefully. As Dr. Chester L. Karrass says: “Words are commitments. Once said, they are defended.”

What do you avoid saying during a negotiation?  Please share any blunders with us in the comments.
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